As countries work to cut carbon pollution, the demand for electric vehicles – and the batteries they run on — is expected to skyrocket.

Producing electric vehicle batteries in the U.S. could help create domestic jobs and spur economic growth. But for the U.S. to be a major player in the industry, experts say the country needs to get busy, fast.

China controls much of the current electric vehicle battery supply chain, including mining for raw materials, processing those materials, and manufacturing the finished batteries.

“So it’s very important that we reduce our dependency on foreign nations for our own sovereignty’s sake,” says Bob Galyen, a battery expert and former chief technology officer of one of the world’s largest battery makers, a Chinese company called CATL.

He says the U.S. should grow its industry by focusing on innovation, not just replicating the battery manufacturing process that exists elsewhere.

“It is clear that there may be other battery technologies that will come in and displace some of the typical lithium batteries in the applications that we see today,” Galyen says.

So new technologies could help the U.S. create its own niche in the industry, while building a clean transportation future.

Read more: The US lags in the race to build an electric vehicle battery industry